DIRECTOR. CHOREOGRAPHER. ACTOR. ACTIVIST.
Hettie Barnhill is the former professor of musical theater at Nazareth College, a Broadway actress, a director, a choreographer and the founder of ‘Movement & Characters’, a school dedicated to providing industry level, professional classes in the performing arts for students of all ages, levels and financial backgrounds, located in the Hudson Valley and New York City. Recently nominated for a 2017 New York Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Choreography, Hettie has performed on Broadway in the production's “Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark”, Tony Award-winning “FELA! (original cast), and the Tony award nominated “Leap Of Faith” (original cast).
Other selected credits include; NYIT Award nom. A Cabaret At The End Of The World (choreographer) The Metropolitan Opera’s Romeo & Juliet, Elektra, and Lulu, Dallas Theater Center’s “FLY” A New Musical, Face-Off Unlimited Improv NYC’s Batsu, Pillow Fight (choreographer) The St. Louis MUNY Opera’s Hairspray, Aida, Camelot and Meet Me In St. Louis. Riverside Theater’s La Cage Aux Follies and St. Louis Black Rep, Guys & Dolls. Television and Film; Law & Order SVU, The Knick and King Bolden.
Hettie Graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, IL. As an instructor, Hettie has taught at Stephens College, MO, Mark Morris, NY, SUNY Ulster, NY Theater Department, JCC Triple Threat, Mohonk Mountain House, SUNY, New Paltz, NY, Music Department and Encore Dance Competition for the Stars NJ ( judge).
Offstage, Hettie uses her art as therapy for people in need receiving many awards for her outreach and service in communities. Since 2006, Hettie has been involved with A Long Walk Home Inc. a nonprofit organization that uses art therapy and the visual and performing arts to document, to educate and to bring about social change for survivors of rape and violence. In 2016, Hettie Cofounded ‘Create A Space NOW’ an interactive social platform that uses performing arts and multimedia to further discussion around #BLACKLIVESMATTER
Hettie began dancing at Pelagie Green Wren Dance Academy when she was three years old and later at the Katherine Dunham Center of Performing Arts School. She is a graduate of COCA Pre-Professional Program & COCAdance and a 2002 graduate of Central Visual Performing Arts High School of St. Louis, Missouri. During high school, she spent her summers as a student at The Alvin Ailey Theater.
BROADWAY: SPIDERMAN-TURN OFF THE DARK, LEAP OF FAITH, FELA!
REGIONAL: (selected few) Fly (Tree) Dallas Theater Center in Dallas TX, Hairspray (Lorraine) The St. Louis Muny Opera, Surrender-Off Broadway (Drama Desk 2009 Nominee)The Ohio Theater NY, LaCage Aux Folles (Bitelle, Colette) The Arvada Center in Arvada CO and The Riverside Theater in Vera Beach FL, Guys&Dolls (Mimi) St Louis Black Rep, Aida , Meet Me in St. Louis, My Fair Lady, and Camelot, St. Louis MUNY Opera.
TV/FILM & OTHER: Bolden (2015), The Knick, Law and Order, Metropolitan Opera, Face-Off Unlimited, BET HONORS, PBS Josephine Baker, Fashion Rocks NBC, Second City-Chicago IL, Black Label Movement-Minnesota MN, Arroja-Lisbon Portugal, The Kennedy Center-Washington DC and Amici-Roma Italy.
CHOREOGRAPHY: (selected few) NYIT Award (nomination) A Cabaret At The End Of The World, NBC, MTV, VH1, BET, International Wow Theater, 60x60, Solar One, The Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, The Ailey School and Dance Chicago. Being immersed in a jazz/blues influenced area, Hettie translates her environment and upbringing into her movement almost flawlessly. Her creative movement is a vision that everyone should experience.
AWARDS & HONORS
THE NAACP "TOP 21 LEADERS 40 & UNDER AWARD" IN THE FIELDS OF "ARTS & CULTURE
TWICE HONORED AS A "RISING STAR" BY THE YOUNG & POWERFUL FOR OBAMA GROUP
THE SHIRLEY CHISHOLM "WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE" AWARD
FRED & ADELE ESTAIRE AWARD 2010 "BEST FEMALE DANCE ENSEMBLE IN A BROADWAY SHOW"
TWICE HONORED "WHO'S WHO OF AMERICAN COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES"
HONORARY MEMBER OF SIGMA GAMMA RHO SORORITY
Cultivating Curiosity 2017 | NYC Dept. of Youth & Community
In 2017 & 2018, Movement & Characters had the honor of teaching over 150 students at 10 different sites throughout Brooklyn, Harlem, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. This opportunity and experience have been true soul food and I am forever grateful to have met all of these wonderful kids. Thank you to the #NYC Department of Youth & Community Development and the #CultivatingCuriosity program! Take a second and watch this incredible video by MOKM Creative Services documenting my summer with these superstars :)
"I have never been a person who wanted to just dance. I have always been interested in developing for other people."